What a buyer should do before you start to look at houses to buy!

By
Real Estate Agent with The Brown Group Realty

 

  1. Build your Dream Team first!  Buying a home is a team effort.  Start talking with real estate agents and pick the one that you are comfortable with.  Be sure that they really hear what you need and are knowledgeable about the market.  You will also need to identify a mortgage person, an attorney, a home inspector, an insurance agent, etc. ...your agent can help you find the other team members if you don't know anyone in those fields.  These are the people who will help guide and protect you through the home buying process!
  2. Now you turn to your mortgage person...find out how much you can borrow for a mortgage.  Get pre-approved.  This is better than a pre-qualification which you can get from anywhere.  It means you've actually started the application process.  Once you are pre-approved, you can move quickly to make an offer on a house if you want to.
  3. Figure out where you want to live.  Whether it is identifying a town, a school district or a neighborhood, it will help you immeasurably to narrow down your search geographically.  Describe your perfect location to your agent...they may know of some neighborhoods that fit the bill!
  4. Now, make a list of all of the features you want in a home then prioritize them.  For example, is it more important to you to have a garage or a fireplace?  What styles of homes do you like or dislike? How many bedrooms and bathrooms?  Start with the "perfect house" and subtract from there!  As you go through this process, you'll be better able to identify "needs" versus "wants" to fit your price range.
  5. Decide whether you want "move in ready" or are willing to do some work to a house after you buy it.  Everyone will want to do some cosmetic changes (e.g. painting) to meet their own personal tastes, but are you willing to knock down walls or add a bathroom or redo a kitchen?  What is your "rehab tolerance"?
  6. With your agent, start looking online at the houses in your price range, in your geographic area, that meet your particular needs and wants.  Get comfortable with the information available.  You will continue to refine your search criteria as you learn more and more about the houses in your price range.
  7. All of this behind you, you are ready to actually go out and look at houses!  Don't try to do too many in any given day...confusion results!  Take a digital camera and some paper so you can make notes of your first impressions and likes and dislikes of each house. 
  8. You'll know it when you see it!  I know that sounds a little silly, but you will!  If you start to figure out what walls to knock down or how you would reconfigure the entire house, it isn't the house for you!
  9. Patience is a virtue, but paralysis is a fault.  If you think that the perfect house is not on the market yet and if you wait, it will come, you may lose out on the near perfect one you've already seen.  And while you wait, interest rates could be going up.  Or someone else may buy your near perfect house and leave you still searching.
  10. Oh and the asking price of a home is not necessarily the selling price of the same home...that's where your real estate agent can help save you a bundle!
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Rainer
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Jessica DeCastro
Williams & Stuart Real Estate - Cranston, RI

This is great info, if you do not mind I would love to use this for my buyers. Great work!

Aug 07, 2009 11:55 PM #1
Rainer
12,639
Wendy Brown
The Brown Group Realty - Westerly, RI

Help yourself!

Aug 08, 2009 01:26 AM #2
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Rainer
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Wendy Brown

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